[Sponsored article] Good morning from the Silverbox Ballroom at the Hotel ICON where we are looking forward to an exciting day of insights and various perspectives from a truly impressive line-up of speakers participating in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) Presidents Forum "Transformative Power of Universities for Our Future". Today's Forum is a highlight event of the PolyU's 80th anniversary celebrations and provides an opportunity for invited speakers and participants to share perspectives on how universities can look to the future and transform society through re-examining their role, innovating education and research, and undertaking impactful knowledge transfer. Follow our live reporting which will feature regular updates throughout the day.
With delegates sat in their seats, Master of Ceremonies, Professor Angelina Yuen, Vice President (Student and Global Affairs) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University begins today's event by welcoming guests and speakers and proceeding to offer an outline of what delegates can expect to hear and learn. "What was supposed to be a small round table event has turned into a very large event," says Yuen adding that it is relevant that so many distinguished guests are able to attend an event to discuss such important issues.
Professor Timothy Tong begins by saying how the event has gathered together "bright minds" including heads of 22 universities from 14 different countries representing international higher education. "Today universities are expected to do far more and ensure our students are prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century," says Tong. He adds that research has to go beyond publishing papers to research that benefits communities. "Today is a great opportunity for universities at this event to share their thoughts on ways that universities can contribute and shape the future," says Tong. He adds how the PolyU was the first university in Hong Kong to require its students to take part in credit-baring activities that benefit the community. In the five years since the initiative was introduced over 13,000 students have taken part in the programme. "Can you imagine the levels of engagement," asks Tong.
Professor Tong now explains how the PolyU for 80 years has been proudly keeping its promise of "Opening Minds – Shaping the Future". He points out how over the decades PolyU graduates have become successful movers and shakers in different fields in Hong Kong and globally. He adds how the PolyU's widespread international connections help to open the minds and broaden the perspectives of future generations. Furthermore, the PolyU's extensive research covering many areas range from improving daily life to opening up new horizons in space. Tong now elaborates how the PolyU's micro fund encourages and supports entrepreneurial spirit among PolyU students. "Some of the ideas translate into success," says Tong who then gives an example of how PolyU research has led to railway safety and efficiency. "This is the time for universities to make their mark with contributions to society," says Tong.